I was trying to think of the best way to sum up our trip to Coban, but I’m not even sure where to start!! So, I’ll just make a list instead… =)
- 10 People. Me, Abby, Risa, Francisco and Carol (our pastor and his wife), Susan and Alisha (two good friends from Texas that live in our community and work with the church), John (Alisha’s fiancé), Aaron (John’s brother), and Dunia (was adopted from Guate, back visiting).
- 4 Days. Left Sunday afternoon, kept Monday and Tuesday packed full and drove home Wednesday!
- 4 hour drives. It took about 4 hours to get to Coban, so there were lots of games, lots of talking, quite a bit of Spanish (1.5 hrs on the way home!!), and fun!!
- “Early” mornings. Our goal was to be on the road by 8, grab breakfast on the way (McD’s or Pollo), and get to our destination at a reasonable hour.
- Time in the car. It took at least 1.5hrs to get to each place, which also meant we had to spend that time on the road to get back to the hotel in the evenings!!
- “Adventures”. Changing cars about 20 minutes into our trip, being stopped at a police stop, trying to get up a slippery hill without 4-wheel drive (had to hang onto the hood!), etc.
- Caves. Our first activity was walking through a cave. From the outside it doesn’t look like much, but at some places the ceiling was 100mts high! We only explored (with a guide) for about 30min, but they haven’t found the end of that particular cave!
- Semuc Champey. That was AMAZING!!!!!! Semuc Champey is pretty much a bunch of pools of water (which is pretty much blue!), one leading to another, then they all lead to one main river. We started at the top pool and made our way (or rather slid and jumped our way) to the others until we were at the bottom.
- Semuc Hike. One of the things that we could do at Semuc Champey is hike up through the woods to a lookout. From the lookout we could see all the pools and the amazing scenery around it. There are really no words to describe how beautiful it was!! The hike was a little challenging (but a lot of fun!!!!) and muddy, but so worth it!
- Late Suppers. We didn’t usually end up leaving our “tour sites” until around 5 or so, and then we had another 2 hour drive on top of that, plus showers and all. So, we didn’t usually finish supper until around 10 each evening, poor waiters must’ve thought we were nuts!!! =)
- More Caves!! On Tuesday we went to another cave which was close to Peten. We thought we were just going to do the wet tour, but come to find out we had to do the dry tour in order to get to the wet tour. Oops!! So, we hiked about 1km into the cave. Some spots were 120+ meters high, tons of stalactites and stalagmites and plenty of “ventanas” (windows) that let light in. Some places it was completely dark, but thankfully the guide had a flashlight!!
- Tubing! After the dry tour, we all got a tube and floated down the river that was in the cave! There were also lots of windows for light, but some places it was COMPLETELY dark!! At one point we were in a dark area and the bats started dive-bombing us… a bit freaky! We floated along until we exited the cave and were floating in the main river. At some places we had to paddle along since the current wasn’t strong enough, it was fun none the less!
- More Hiking! On our way out on Wednesday, we stopped at a nature reserve and hiked through the forest. The hike itself wasn’t too long or strenuous, but it was fun to be out in the jungle a little bit! We were really hoping to see a Quetzal (the bird, not the money!!) since we were in their habitat, but we didn’t. Yeah well, it was still fun to get out!
Well, that’s a brief overview of what all went on during our trip. I’m not sure words can describe the beauty that we saw, the conversations that were had and just the fun that went on during the entire trip!! Here are some pics... kinda hard to get pictures while tubing in a cave though!! =)
|Entering the first cave|
|Francisco and Carol|
|Risa and I with the eagle|
|Water coming out next to the cave|
|Lots of "layers"|
|On the hike up to the overlook|
|Semuc from above|
|Hike to see the Quetzales|
|Hmm, is he going to try to throw me in or not? =)|
|Another sisters shot!|
|We thought we saw a quetzal around there... or maybe it was a branch.|